Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is still processing all benefits claims. And with the support of generous donors, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) secured $142 million in monetary VA benefits for warriors, their families, and caregivers in fiscal year 2020, which spans Oct. 1, 2019 to Sept. 30, 2020.
As a VA-accredited organization with an approval rating of 90% for benefits claims filed in fiscal year 2020, WWP helps veterans navigate the complexities of the VA and Department of Defense (DoD). WWP’s Benefits Service program works individually with warriors to understand their unique needs, provide education on the claims process, advise them of benefit options, file benefit claims, and help obtain necessary evidence.
But what can warriors do to help their VA benefits claims? The WWP Benefits Service team ranked its top five tips for warriors to consider.
- Know your advocates. National veterans service organizations (VSOs) like WWP have skilled advocates who specialize in filing claims to the VA. This support is especially helpful amid the changing landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic. Call the WWP Resource Center today at 888-997-2586 to get the benefits you deserve.
- Know which disabilities you can claim. Medical symptoms do not justify a claim. You must have a chronic diagnosed disability to file benefits claims. VSO advocates like WWP can help identify what qualifies.
- Obtain evidence such as service treatment records. Whether you are filing for the first time or for a worsening condition, get the necessary evidence or diagnosis from a VA physician or private provider before submitting a claim.
- Attend all VA examinations in a timely manner, and obtain information the VA asks you to submit. Work with your advocate to ensure these items are secured and submitted. Compensation and pension (C&P) examinations may not always be convenient, but these appointments are vital to substantiating benefits claims. During the pandemic, the VA is conducting many telehealth exams by phone or video. In the most recent figures released in early January, the VA said it recorded a 1,653% increase in weekly telehealth visits since the end of February 2020. The VA is starting to conduct in-person C&P exams in many locations, too.
- Be vested in your claim. Positive outcomes are directly equivalent to the 50-50 investment between you and your advocate.
About Wounded Warrior Project
Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) connects, serves, and empowers wounded warriors. Read more at http://newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org/about-us.